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16 June 2009 - Media release

South African fugitive who boasted of evading INTERPOL arrested in Belarus

LYON, France – A South African man subject of an INTERPOL Red Notices for sex crimes against children - who boasted he would never be caught - has been arrested in Belarus following an attempted bank robbery.

Former Pretoria advocate, George ‘Dirk’ Prinsloo became the subject of an INTERPOL Red Notice, or international wanted persons’ notice after he fled from South Africa in 2006 where he faces charges of rape, indecent assault, fraud and possession of child sexual abuse images.

While on the run, Prinsloo had sent a number of letters to the media bragging that neither the South African Police Service, nor INTERPOL could capture him.

39-year-old Prinsloo was traced and arrested by police in Belarus on Friday 12 June in connection with an attempted robbery at a bank in Baranovichi two days previously, during which staff were threatened with a knife and a gun by three men.

Following his arrest, a check against INTERPOL’s global databases by police in Belarus revealed that Prinsloo was wanted internationally as a subject of a Red Notice. His fingerprints were then sent to the INTERPOL General Secretariat in Lyon and a positive match confirmed that the man in custody was the South African fugitive.

“Prinsloo’s arrest is a clear demonstration of the effectiveness of international law enforcement co-operation through INTERPOL,” said Martin Cox, Assistant Director of INTERPOL’s Fugitive Investigative Support unit.

“Even while Prinsloo was boasting that he hadn’t been caught, police around the world were working behind the scenes to co-ordinate actions and share information which eventually ended in his arrest in Belarus.

“I would like to praise everyone involved in this investigation and its successful conclusion, which again shows that no matter how long it takes, or where in the world they hide, INTERPOL and each of its 187 member countries is committed to bringing fugitives to justice,” added Mr Cox.

Prinsloo faces a charge of robbery which carries a penalty of up to 10 years imprisonment. An application for his extradition to South Africa would be made via diplomatic channels.